Friday, August 19
Cricketer Aamir Sohail opens political innings
Former captain of Pakistan cricket team and flamboyant opener Aamir Sohail has opened another innings on the political pitch of the PML-N when he joined the party after meeting its president Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at Raiwind on Thursday.
Aamir Sohail, who had also previously served head of selection committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board, announced his selection of the PML-N for starting his political career, and expressed his confidence in Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, who said Aamir had made his country proud on the playing field. “It is a good addition to the Party,” added the ex-premier, while welcoming the cricketer, who had played under N-League’s political adversary Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. In his meeting with Nawaz Sharif, he is said to have discussed the issues pertaining to sports and sportsmen.
His stats show that Aamir could not perform well in the World Cup of 1992, which was won by Pakistan under cricket-legend-turn-politician Imran Khan since in the last two games of the semi-final and final– virtually Khan’s also – Aamir could not do well both with bat and bowl, securing 14 in 20 balls and 4 in 19 balls, while being wicketlessly hammered by the Kiwis for 11 in his solitary over and by the English for 49 in 10 overs respectively.
Now it is yet to be seen how he would perform under cricket-lover and admirer Nawaz Sharif. “The country needs seasoned and experienced leadership, which I believe the PML-N offers. I have joined with an open mind and open heart, and there’s a long way to go,” asserts the novice politician Aamir, who has not been given any party office so far. However, he told the PML-N president that he wanted to work for the better future of cricket in the country. “I have decided to come into politics because I want to do something for sports and sportsmen as a former player and captain,” said the left-handed opener not known for being calculative in his aggression. Pakistanis still remember him for his careless shot, which helped India to win the quarter’s final of 1996 world cup in Bangalore, after a great start by the Pakistan cricket team.
It can be considered that he might turn out to be a good commentator of the political scene since Aamir had been cricket commentator for quite a long time though not as recognised as his fellow opener Ramiz Raja.
Also at the fag end of 1990s, when head Tehreek-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran Dr Tahirul Qadri was leading Pakistan Awami Ittehad, Aamir Sohail had meet Dr Qadri at the latter’s residence. However, he withdrew after some time, and declined to have joining the Pakistan Awami Tehreek.
Aamir might have taken inspiration from another flamboyant opener of Sri Lanka Jay Suriya, who is member of his country’s parliament.
He is certainly not the first Pakistani cricketer to become a politician. Prior to him, former fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz is already with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Also ex-fast bowler Atta-ur-Rehman is with the PAT. Late Fazl Mahmood remained of the Tehreek-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran till he drew his last breath.
Aamir Sohail's constituency is likely to be less as far as the cricket lovers are concerned. However, he belongs to a family of 22 brothers and sisters, and three mothers. So for sure, he should be pretty certain of winning a Councillorship by bagging a few of the party votes. However, he has left his ancestral home situated in the Walled City, and has gone to the Defence Housing Authority, where he might be that popular since little is known about the next neighbours in that locale.
44-year-old Aamir Sohail had played 47 Tests and 156 one-day internationals, taking part in two World Cups in 1992 and 1996.